There are a lot of new moms who speak about their baby with an adoration befitting the saints. While I admit that I do think my daughter’s poop doesn’t stink (too bad), I don’t consider her particularly saintly. She’s just a baby. My biggest thrill is watching her gain independence, as low-level as it may be at this juncture. Seeing her lift her head, find her thumb to suck—these little things are overwhelming when I think about how quickly they will be replaced with the next late breaking development.

Part of the whole “fourth trimester” thing is that baby’s aren’t fully ready to be born at the time they actually pop out. For the first three months of their real lives they are still a part of their mother, albeit a part that cries more and has no control over bodily functions. To fully buy into that theory, one would have to put aside any sense of a child’s burgeoning independence, and put one’s own sense of self on the back burner as well. I can see the necessity of the latter part to a degree, but I can’t help but wonder where that leaves the old ME, the one my husband married and agreed to have a child with in the first place. Where am I supposed to draw the line between being a mother and being myself? Perhaps it’s impossible, and counter-productive, to draw any lines through the haze of these new and uncharted post-partum days. Therein lies the difficulty of being a new mom when you also want to be a wife, or a professional, or anything other than a handmaiden to the household’s new ruling class.

Speaking of which, she is beckoning me now :)


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